LANSING, Mich. — The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (Tri-County) has been awarded $400,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support regional economic recovery. As the Economic Development District (EDD) for Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties, Tri-County will utilize this grant to evaluate the economic impacts of the coronavirus in the region and develop strategies to effectively recover from the pandemic.
Signed into law at the end of March, the CARES Act allocated $1.5 billion to the EDA to offer responsive financial assistance to communities across the country. Of that allocation, $225 million was designated for the Chicago Region, which includes Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. As key partners of the EDA responsible for facilitating targeted economic development activities at the local level, a portion of this funding has been specifically assigned to EDDs and other federally designated economic development agencies to coordinate coronavirus recovery planning.
“The coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented uncertainty in our region and created deep and lasting economic challenges for our communities,” said Tri-County Executive Director Jim Snell. “This federal funding will help us better understand and recover from the impacts of the pandemic on the Greater Lansing region. It will be imperative that we come together to address these economic disruptions and leverage our regional strengths to come back more resilient than ever.”
As organizations and communities across the region work together to mitigate these economic challenges, this funding will allow Tri-County to assess the effects of the coronavirus on the region’s economy and identify gaps in economic recovery and growth. Tri-County will conduct extensive data analysis to guide the creation of and investment in comprehensive resiliency strategies that will further long-term recovery efforts. Additionally, Tri-County will provide technical assistance and aid to local communities and stakeholders to support informed decision-making in preparation for future potential economic disruptions.
Implementation of Tri-County’s mission to cultivate economic prosperity heavily depends on collaboration with local organizations, regional leaders, and communities. These partnerships play an integral role in developing priorities for the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) [mitcrpc.org] and will now guide Tri-County in determining the actively evolving needs of our region. While the current CEDS contains specific goals and actions that ensure the strength and vibrancy of our economy, Tri-County will integrate the results of the assessments and analyses produced through this grant opportunity to reflect the transformation of regional priorities in light of the pandemic.
“Though the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed significant barriers for our region, it has also provided a unique opportunity to realign our priorities and ensure economic sustainability and prosperity,” said Tri-County Deputy Director Nicole Baumer. “Now is the time to invest in initiatives that will strategically work to address our region’s vulnerabilities, restore our economy, and create stronger communities for our future.”
Activities are anticipated to begin in September of 2020 and will continue until the end of the grant period on June 30, 2022. Information and project updates will be available on Tri-County’s website at mitcrpc.org/currentprojects [mitcrpc.org]. View the official funding announcement from the EDA here [eda.gov].
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